The Audiomat Tempo 2.8 arrived this morning courtesy of Achim / 13hof whilst I was out collecting some furniture.
Searching the web it's apparently a €3,700 DAC. It's of diminutive stature, but with a separate power supply that weighs a ton (collectively about same footprint as the typical Bel Canto DAC). Unlike the Bel Canto who's power connector I recall being plastic, the Audiomat's power connector is metal which gives me some comfort that it's robust and unlikely to present issues down the road, something that was a bit of a detractor for me when considering a Bel Canto some time back.
The Tempo is single ended so I used the opportunity to connect it to the same inputs on my preamp using the same interconnects I'd used with the LampizatOr Atlantic. It's also located on the same shelf, in pretty much the same place as the Lampi was, right next to my WAP (which Audiomat specifically suggests should be avoided, but I'm curious as to whether the WAP will prove problematic).
In any event, hooking it up to Roon using the same ODROID-C2 as transport and same stock USB2.0 certified USB cable it's readily seen by Roon. Like the Lampi, it uses the Amanero USB chipset and reports as Combo384 Amanero. DAC manufacturers really should shell out the few shekels required to custom brand the USB firmware, it's a finishing touch but also makes the DAC easily identifiable attached to any PC or SOC device.
Anyhow, I can't volume match directly as the Tempo has no volume pot or inbuilt digital volume control so I resort to digital attenuation of the stream sent to the Tempo, dropping 3dB is definitely not going to affect the stream sent to the Tempo. Roon makes it so damned easy.
Time to do some listening... first off, everything just works as expected straight off the bat. No noise, no fiddling, no nothing...just music.
It's late so I decide to forgo any comparative listening for the time being and just listen to an album or two via to the Tempo. As I sit and write this I've already listened to a 2CD Leonard Cohen tribute album called "We Love You Mr. Cohen". I know the songs, but save one or two that have appeared elsewhere I've never heard these renditions. It's a really enjoyable listen and includes artists like Nick Cave, Beth Orton, Madeleine Peyroux, Chris Botti, Judy Collins and Leonard's son Adam.
Next up I've got Al Stewart queued:
It's midnight and I'm really enjoying the music. I'm torn between opening a bottle of Jack and enjoying a shot or three, and getting some shut eye. Not sure which way it's going to go yet, but tomorrow I'll queue some Marianne Thorsen, Vassilis Tsabropoulos, Anja Lechner, Keith Jarrett and a few others to do a little flipping between the Tempo and the Yggy.
My impressions so far...this is a very musical DAC and a pleasure to listen through. It has great tonality, there's no hint of fatigue and vocals sound great. The short guitar solo at around 2:40 in time passages is sublime. I've no idea what topology this DAC uses, but I like what I'm hearing.